Ask a Question forum: Ordered Plant Online - Arrived Sick! :(

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Name: Kiki
Memphis, TN
newplantowner
Aug 12, 2016 1:23 PM CST
I just received what I was hoping would be a small but well-kept Chinese money plant (pilea peperomioides) in the mail (shipped from Poland). When I opened the package, I found that most of the stems had completely wilted away (wet, brown, not mouldy, but completely detached) except for two. Those two stems are still green and firmly attached as I can tell, but the leaves are brown and half-rotted away like their (former) friends. Should I trim the stems all the way back, or leave them for now and hope they eventually heal?
Thumb of 2016-08-12/newplantowner/b20c27

Name: Nico
Northern Midwest, US (Zone 3b)
Birds
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nicodiangel_no
Aug 12, 2016 2:52 PM CST
I would suggest getting rid of the leaves and hoping for the best... Usually when plants are soaked like this, I just repot or change some of the soil so some of it's dry and it doesn't get worse.
Can you contact the seller?
:^DD
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Aug 12, 2016 3:55 PM CST
It looks as though the soil is fairly dry and the plant has damage from shipping, It could be that the planr came by air in an unheated cargo hold (by air) or dried out and subjected to a lot of heat. Either way, if the roots are firm and fleshy the plant should recover because the stem seems to be intact and firm.

I would notify the seller asap and decide, depending on the terms of sale whether you want to try to revive your plant, have a second plant shipped, or be refunded. Sending a pic with your note to the seller (on EBay or Amazon?) backs your request.

Best of luck to you.
Name: Kiki
Memphis, TN
newplantowner
Aug 12, 2016 4:29 PM CST
Thank you both for the replies! I am definitely going to let it dry out a bit before I do anything, since it *does* look like the main stem is doing okay. I'm unsure about cutting back those two leaves, since I want it to be able to get enough sun (and they aren't totally 100% dead, just doing very poorly).

I'm also definitely going to let the seller know; I found it on eBay so I suspect there's no chance of a replacement, but I am certainly going to try to nurse it back to health. Any opinions on giving ti a bit of plant food and whether that might help it perk up?
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Aug 12, 2016 4:48 PM CST
I would lift it from the pot and check the roots to make sure there is nothing wrong there. If the roots look okay, re-pot the plant in well draining potting mix and give the plant a good soaking to settle it in the new soil. Make sure the plant has good drainage and will not sit in water. You can add a 1/4 strength fertilizer to the water. When it starts to revive and grow, give it a mild fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks.

As for the leaves, you might trim away the dead part and place the plant in bright light (not direct sun)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilea_peperomioides
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 12, 2016 5:00 PM CST
I differ a little - what else is new, huh? I would not trim those two leaves off. Any green whatsoever is at least providing a little photosynthesis. I also would not fertilize a weakened plant. It is going to have to recover, with some evidence of new, green growth before it can really utilize fertilizer. Fertilizer may only push it over the edge. Was this plant wrapped in plastic?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Kiki
Memphis, TN
newplantowner
Aug 12, 2016 5:05 PM CST
@drdawg Yes, this plant was *tightly* wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap which was then held together with packing tape with no way to breathe whatsoever. (Seller also taped cotton around the base to hold dirt in, I assume.) Honestly I was very surprised to see it come that way -- I've had plants sent from other sellers before and have never had one arrive to me in this condition. A little thirsty maybe, but nothing like this.
Name: ursula
Chile (Zone 9b)
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Mutisia
Aug 12, 2016 5:12 PM CST
You can find good information on NGA's Plant Data Base: Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 12, 2016 5:16 PM CST
I agree with Ken, I would not fertilize until there's a sign of new growth. Not sure what I would do with the leaves, the brown areas will not recover - if they look like drying up then it probably won't hurt to leave them. If the brown stays wet and seems to be spreading I would take them off. I'm surprised a plant, especially with soil, got through customs or did it have a phytosanitary certificate?
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 12, 2016 5:36 PM CST
sooby said: I'm surprised a plant, especially with soil, got through customs or did it have a phytosanitary certificate?


That's what I was thinking. How did a plant make it through the customs inspection with soil??

Edited to add:
There was a discussion about this plant recently:
The thread "What is going on with my Pilea peperomioides?" in Ask a Question forum

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Aug 12, 2016 5:38 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 12, 2016 6:21 PM CST
I agree not to remove the leaves as long as there is green on them. If the brown areas spread, then remove them. Don't put it in the sun, though. Bright indirect light will be about all it can handle.

I'm thinking the hot weather combined with the plastic wrapping have helped to cook that poor little plant. But it's still alive so there's hope. They should have wrapped it in paper, not plastic for less harm and better insulation.

For future reference, be very careful about ordering plants that have to be shipped in the heat of summer. You never know if they're going to sit in a hot truck, or on a hot airport tarmac for hours before they get to you. Then also, I had a package delivered here in summer and left in the Florida sun on my porch for a couple of hours, resulting in cooked plants just because I wasn't home when they were delivered. Now I only order plants in spring and fall when there is less likely to be either hot or freezing temperatures on the route.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 12, 2016 8:28 PM CST
I worry far more about cold than I do heat, and I ship over 300 boxes of plants each year. I just know how to pack plants so that they are insulated from heat. It isn't t that hard to do. To my knowledge, in doing this for five years, I have never had someone tell me that their plant was heat damaged. That's certainly not to say it hasn't happened. I just don't know of it Perhaps you need to see what some of the comments have been made over the years and what time of year those comments were made. A comment was made today in fact on the "Classifieds" forum and "Carnivores" thread of a plant I just shipped this week. This is the quote: Nobody should ever be concerned about your shipping Ken! Big Grin It's ALWAYS perfect! Lovey dubby

It looks like you just walked it over to me from next door! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

I think that pretty much sums it up.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 12, 2016 8:34 PM CST
Yup, you don't pack anything in plastic, right? Plus your plants aren't coming from Poland.

Btw, ordering off eBay, you really need to give feedback so that other people thinking of ordering from this supplier will know you had a problem. It's one way to make sure the supplier cleans up their act.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 13, 2016 5:43 AM CST
I agree that when someone orders off of eBay, and that experience is poor, they need to leave feed-back. Also, in my opinion, eBay cares far more for the customer than it does for the seller, so if you lodge a complaint with them, you'll probably get results. Take plenty of photos too. Nothing beats "visual".

No, I put root-balls in baggies, along with moist sphagnum moss, but that's it. Of course, I do use air pillows, bubble wrap, and Styrofoam peanuts, but those are only for shock absorption. I use lots of newspaper, wrapping and shredded.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 13, 2016 6:59 AM CST
Hopefully Kiki and the seller complied with requirements for importing plant material (although normally that requires their being free of soil, media), but it might be useful for others comtemplating buying by mail from overseas to note the following from the USDA on receiving plants through the mail from other countries so as to avoid incurring confiscations and possible fines:

"To keep plant pests and diseases out of the United States, live plants and seeds for planting are not allowed into the country without a phytosanitary certificate (including shipments from Canada). Issued by agriculture officials in the shipping country, a phytosanitary certificate verifies that the plants or seeds were inspected, are free from harmful pests and diseases, and meet applicable U.S. entry requirements.

If a prospective shipper is unwilling to obtain a phytosanitary certificate or tells you that one is not needed for your purchase, you should cancel your order: those plants or seeds from that shipper are illegal for import into the United States. The only exception is for small amounts of seed that are allowed to enter the United States under a USDA Small Lots of Seed (SLOS) permit instead of a phytosanitary certificate. Information about SLOS permits and how to apply for them is available on the APHIS Web site at [url=www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/small-lot-seeds]www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/small-lot-seeds[/url].

In addition to a phytosanitary certificate, some plants and seeds may require further paperwork, treatment, or inspection. Please contact APHIS for more information."

Quoted from:
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/plant_health/2013/fs...
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Aug 13, 2016 7:55 AM CST
Good information there, Sue.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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